Issue 25 | June 2009


Arden / Bond / Sound / Vision

By Sean Kaye-Smith

When Vertigo first turned its attention to the work of the British writer, actor and director Jane Arden (1927-82) two summers ago, the prospects for anyone wishing to follow up the article – Unknown Pleasures (Issue 11 | August 2007) – by actually seeing Arden’s films were pretty grim. On some counts they remain so. The two crime thrillers Arden starred in the late 1940s are currently as invisible as ever. Neither film has ever been released on video or DVD nor shown on television. This is not entirely surprising in the case of Richard M. Grey’s wonderfully titled A Gunman Has Escaped (1948); even the copy in the BFI National Film and Television Archive is incomplete. So this sounds like a job for the irrepressible Matthew Sweet, who is already, no doubt, scouring the boots of abandoned Vauxhall Crestas in search of a complete print.
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Tears of a Kook

By Rosy Rockets

Petulia, Richard Lester’s neglected classic of the late sixties, is an adaptation of John Haase’s novel Me and the Arch Kook Petulia. It strikes and often deters many as no more than a Frisco fresco in Pepsi red, polo white and penguin black.

Being Hal Ashby

By Lee Hill

As one of the giants of the Hollywood New Wave in the 70s, Hal Ashby did his job as a director too well. The key films he made – The Landlord, Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, Bound for Glory and Being There – had a openness and generosity that defiantly put an obvious directorial signature into the background...

Building Bridges

By Peter Loizos

This collection is an invaluable sourcebook for teachers and students of Jean Rouch’s work. It comprises 23 essays by authors expert in a field relevant to Rouch’s oeuvre – French cinema 1950s and 1960s, surrealism, film-in-anthropology, Niger, and practical filmmaking.

A Quiet Chaos

By James Norton

For the past three decades Nanni Moretti has been Italy’s most celebrated film maker and cultural figure, as director and actor observing the country’s rich stew of political, social and religious tumult with peerless humour and insight.

On the Po

By Rosy Rockets

The European Atomic Energy Community first cast a shadow over Italy’s coal and steel industry in 1957. This year also brought us Michelangelo Antonioni’s Il Grido, the story of a refinery worker, Aldo (Steve Cochran) whose homeland is drowning in its own waters and giving way to the dawn of the war machine.

Altman Took Me Gambling

By Robert Chilcott

In a panel discussion at The Electric Cinema, producer Don Boyd and directors Franc Roddam, Charles Sturridge and Bill Bryden discuss the making of Aria, recently released on DVD by Second Sight.